There’s nothing like the excitement that surrounds the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer collections in New York, but the marathon of shows and events inevitably ends up coming with their share of stress. In comparison, Miami Fashion Week Swim is focused on a tight line-up of brands with a true passion for swimwear and its related garments (think cover-ups, tunics, caftans, day dresses…) and all of the presentations and events take place in the late afternoon and evening hours — it is Miami after all!
The 2012 season will take place from July 14 to July 18 in South Beach’s Raleigh Hotel where a select group of designers will showcase their new wares. We spoke to L*Space designer Monica Wise to find out what she has in store for 2012, how she continuously stays inspired, swimwear essentials that every woman should own, swimwear trend predictions, and more.
L*Space designer Monica Wise
The Fashion Spot: How important is it for your business to show your collection during Miami Fashion Week Swim?
Monica Wise: For us, it’s extremely important. It gives editors, retailers, and the world a look inside our brand. From our vibe to inspiration, showing live on the runway really breathes life into our collection in a way that truly resonates with the public.
tFS: What is the atmosphere like in Miami Beach during Fashion Week Swim? Is the general public excited?
MW: It’s my favorite time of year. The energy is unreal and everyone in Miami is truly excited and passionate about swim, which makes it exciting. It’s hard to go to bed early due to all of the excitement in the air.
tFS: You have participated in Swim Week before, how has it changed from season to season?
MW: Our first year, we were new to the game and had never showed before. It was definitely a learning curve for us but the show was fantastic. This year, I think we have a bit more direction in styling and overall production of the event itself. We can’t wait.
tFS: Swimwear strikes as a more limiting of medium to work with than a full ready-to-wear collection. How do you continually manage to stay inspired and come up with the new, wearable designs?
MW: Honestly, I never feel limited when working with swimwear. Fabrics, prints, styles are constantly changing year to year. We have actually started to get into more resort type wear that allows fans of the brand to not only wear L*SPACE on the beach or poolside but also out and about. This year, we are introducing dresses, shorts, and shirt-like tunics so it makes the collection feel more versatile.
tFS: How do you set L*Space apart from other similarly-priced swimwear brands?
MW: I think we stand out on numerous things that go beyond the price. From our fit, our prints, and the versatility of being able to mix many solid colors back to our prints, we really allow the individual to choose how they wear L*SPACE. I think we also have a variety of styles that fit most body types seeing as most of us aren’t small on top and small on bottom.
tFS: Who do you have in mind when you're designing?
MW: Every year is different. This year, travel was on my mind. Exotic destinations like Rio de Janeiro, Cannes, Hawaii all came to mind when designing the line.
tFS: What can we expect from L*Space for 2012?
MW: Bright prints and solids. A gamut of new styles, and the introduction of resort wear.
tFS: Your collection includes some pretty racy designs, any tips for how best to pull them off?
MW: If you feel comfortable in it, it’s probably the suit for you, be it skimpy or conservative. Wearing swimwear is all about how it makes YOU feel…not what anyone else thinks.
tFS: Are there any swimsuit styles that you feel every woman should own?
tFS: When you're at the beach, what do you pack in your beach bag?
MW: Hat, extra large beach towel, sunscreen SPF 30, lip balm, my iPod and a good book.
tFS: Are there any swimwear trends that you predict we'll be seeing during the shows that we can work into our look this summer?
MW: I think we will be seeing a lot of florals this season as well as bright colors. The overall look is fresh and whimsical.
tFS: If you could pick one celebrity to wear one of your creations who would it be and what would you like them to wear?
MW: I’ve truly been blessed with the celebrity clientele. One of my all time favorite celebrities is Gwen Stefani and she’s been such a huge supporter of our brand, being photographed numerous times in my collection.